The betulinic acid derivative IC9564 is a potent anti-human immunodeficiency virus (anti-HIV) compound that can inhibit both HIV primary isolates and laboratory-adapted strains. However, this compound did not affect the replication of simian immunodeficiency virus and respiratory syncytial virus. Results from a syncytium formation assay indicated that IC9564 blocked HIV type 1 (HIV-1) envelope-mediated membrane fusion. Analysis of a chimeric virus derived from exchanging envelope regions between IC9564-sensitive and IC9564-resistant viruses indicated that regions within gp120 and the N-terminal 25 amino acids (fusion domain) of gp41 are key determinants for the drug sensitivity. By developing a drug-resistant mutant from the NL4-3 virus, two mutations were found within the gp120 region and one was found within the gp41 region. The mutations are G237R and R252K in gp120 and R533A in the fusion domain of gp41. The mutations were reintroduced into the NL4-3 envelope and analyzed for their role in IC9564 resistance. Both of the gp120 mutations contributed to the drug sensitivity. On the contrary, the gp41 mutation (R533A) did not appear to affect the IC9564 sensitivity. These results suggest that HIV-1 gp120 plays a key role in the anti-HIV-1 activity of IC9564.
A class of betulinic acid derivatives was synthesized to target two critical steps in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle, entry and maturation. Each mechanism of HIV-1 inhibition is distinct from clinically available anti-HIV therapeutics. The viral determinants of the antientry and antimaturation activities are the bridging sheet of HIV-1 gp120 and the P24/p2 cleavage site, respectively.
In a continuing study of potent anti-HIV agents, seventeen 28,30-disubstituted betulinic acid (BA, 1) derivatives, as well as seven novel 3,28-disubstituted BA analogs were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for in vitro antiviral activity. Among them, compound 21 showed an improved solubility and equal anti-HIV potency (EC50: 0.09 μM), when compared to HIV entry inhibitors 3b (IC9564) and 4 (A43-D). Using a cyclic secondary amine to form the C-28 amide bond increased the metabolic stability of the derivatives significantly in pooled human liver microsomes. The most potent compounds 47 and 48 displayed potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values of 0.007 μM and 0.006 μM, respectively. These results are slightly better than that of bevirimat (2), which is currently in Phase IIb clinical trials. Compounds 47 and 48 should serve as attractive promising leads to develop next generation, metabolically stable, 3,28-disubstituted bifunctional HIV-1 inhibitors as clinical trials candidates.
Betulinic acid derivatives modified at the C28 position are HIV-1entry inhibitors such as compound A43D; however, modified at the C3 position instead of C28 give HIV-1 maturation inhibitor such as bevirimat. Bevirimat exhibited promising pharmacokinetic profiles in clinical trials, but its effectiveness was compromised by the high baseline drug resistance of HIV-1 variants with polymorphism in the putative drug binding site. In an effort to determine whether the viruses with bevirimat resistant polymorphism also altered their sensitivities to the betulinic acid derivatives that inhibit HIV-1 entry, a series of new betulinic acid entry inhibitors were synthesized and tested for their activities against HIV-1 NL4-3 and NL4-3 variants resistant to bevirimat. The results show that the bevirimat resistant viruses were approximately 5- to10-fold more sensitive to three new glutamine ester derivatives (13, 15 and 38) and A43D in an HIV-1 multi-cycle replication assay. In contrast, the wild type NL4-3 and the bevirimat resistant variants were equally sensitive to the HIV-1 RT inhibitor AZT. In addition, these three new compounds markedly improved microsomal stability compared to A43D.
HIV-1; Entry inhibitor; Maturation inhibitor; Betulinic acid; Berivimat; Berivimat-resistance
Betulinic acid, a triterpenoid isolated from the methyl alcohol extract of the leaves of Syzigium claviflorum, was found to have a potent inhibitory activity against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Betulinic acid derivatives were synthesized to enhance the anti-HIV activity. Among the derivatives, 3-O-(3′,3′-dimethylsuccinyl) betulinic acid, designated YK-FH312, showed the highest activity against HIV-induced cytopathic effects in HIV-1-infected MT-4 cells. To determine the step(s) of HIV replication affected by YK-FH312, a syncytium formation inhibition assay in MOLT-4/HIV-1IIIB and MOLT-4 coculture, a multinuclear-activation-of-galactosidase-indicator (MAGI) assay in MAGI-CCR5 cells, electron microscopic observation, and a time-of-addition assay were performed. In the syncytium formation inhibition assay or in the MAGI assay for de novo infection, the compound did not show inhibitory effects against HIV replication. Conversely, no virions were detected in HIV-1-infected cell cultures treated with YK-FH312 either by electron microscopic observation or by viral yield in the supernatant. In accordance with a p24 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of culture supernatant in the time-of-addition assay, YK-FH312 inhibited virus expression in the supernatant when it was added 18 h postinfection. However, Western blot analysis of the cells in the time-of-addition assay revealed that the production of viral proteins in the cells was not inhibited completely by YK-FH312. These results suggest that YK-FH312 might affect the step(s) of virion assembly and/or budding of virions, and this is a novel mechanism of action of an anti-HIV compound.
We previously reported that [[N-[3β-hydroxyl-lup-20(29)-en-28-oyl]-7-aminoheptyl]-carbamoyl]methane (A43D, 4) was a potent HIV-1 entry inhibitor. However, 4 was inactive against HIV-2 virus, suggesting the structural requirements for targeting these two retroviruses are different. In this study, a series of new betulinic acid derivatives were synthesized, and some of them displayed selective anti-HIV-2 activity at nanomolar concentrations. In comparison to compounds with anti-HIV-1 activity, a shorter C-28 side chain is required for optimal anti-HIV-2 activity.
Betulinic acid; HIV-2; HIV-1
A triterpene derived from betulinic acid (RPR103611) blocks human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and fusion of CD4+ cells with cells expressing HIV-1 envelope proteins (gp120 and gp41), suggesting an effect on virus entry. This compound did not block infection by a subtype D HIV-1 strain (NDK) or cell-cell fusion mediated by the NDK envelope proteins. The genetic basis of drug resistance was therefore addressed by testing envelope chimeras derived from NDK and a drug-sensitive HIV-1 strain (LAI, subtype B). A drug-resistant phenotype was observed for all chimeras bearing the ectodomain of NDK gp41, while the origins of gp120 and of the membrane anchor and cytoplasmic domains of gp41 had no apparent role. The envelope gene of a LAI variant, fully resistant to the antiviral effect of RPR103611, was cloned and sequenced. Its product differed from the parental sequence at two positions in gp41, with changes of arginine 22 to alanine (R22A) and isoleucine 84 to serine (I84S), the gp120 being identical. In the context of LAI gp41, the I84S substitution was sufficient for drug resistance. Therefore, in two different systems, differences in gp41 were associated with sensitivity or resistance to RPR103611. Modifications of gp41 can affect the quaternary structure of gp120 and gp41 and the accessibility of gp120 to antiviral agents such as neutralizing antibodies. However, a direct effect of RPR103611 on a gp41 target must also be envisioned, in agreement with the blocking of apparently late steps of HIV-1 entry. This compound could be a valuable tool for structure-function studies of gp41.
Betulinic acid is a natural product possessing abundant and favourable biological activity, including anti-cancer, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory and anti-HIV properties, while causing minimal toxicity to unaffected cells. The full biological potency of betulinic acid cannot be fully unlocked, however, for a number of reasons, a primary one being its limited solubility in aqueous and biologically pertinent organic media. Aiming to improve the water solubility of betulinic acid without disrupting its structurally related bioactivity, we have prepared different ionic derivatives of betulinic acid. Inhibition bioassays on HIV-1 protease-catalysed peptide hydrolysis indicate significantly improved performance resulting from converting the betulinic acid to organic salt form. Indeed, for one particular cholinium-based derivative, its water solubility is improved more than 100 times and the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value (22 μg mL−1) was one-third that of wide-type betulinic acid (60 μg mL−1). These encouraging results advise that additional studies of ionic betulinic acid derivatives as a therapeutic solution against HIV-1 infection are warranted.
Betulinic acid; anti-HIV; ionic liquid; HIV-1 protease; derivative
BMS-599793 is a small molecule entry inhibitor that binds to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp120, resulting in the inhibition of CD4-dependent entry into cells. Since BMS-599793 is currently considered a candidate microbicide drug, we evaluated its efficacy against a number of primary patient HIV isolates from different subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) and showed that activity varied between ∼3 ρM and 7 μM at 50% effective concentrations (EC50s). Interestingly, CRF01_AE HIV-1 isolates consistently demonstrated natural resistance against this compound. Genotypic analysis of >1,600 sequences (Los Alamos HIV sequence database) indicated that a single amino acid polymorphism in Env, H375, may account for the observed BMS-599793 resistance in CRF01_AE HIV-1. Results of site-directed mutagenesis experiments confirmed this hypothesis, and in silico drug docking simulations identified a drug resistance mechanism at the molecular level. In addition, CRF01_AE viruses were shown to be resistant to multiple broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. Thus, our results not only provide insight into how Env polymorphisms may contribute to entry inhibitor resistance but also may help to elucidate how HIV can evade some broadly neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, the high frequency of H375 in CRF01_AE HIV-1, and its apparent nonoccurrence in other subtypes, could serve as a means for rapid identification of CRF01_AE infections.
Papuamide A is representative of a class of marine derived cyclic depsipeptides, reported to have cytoprotective activity against HIV-1 in vitro. We show here that papuamide A acts as an entry inhibitor, preventing human immunodeficiency virus infection of host cells and that this inhibition is not specific to R5 or X4 tropic virus. This inhibition of viral entry was determined to not be due to papuamide A binding to CD4 or HIV gp120, the two proteins involved in the cell-virus recognition and binding. Furthermore, papuamide A was able to inhibit HIV pseudotype viruses expressing envelope glycoproteins from vesicular stomatitis virus or amphotropic murine leukemia virus indicating the mechanism of viral entry inhibition is not HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein specific. Time delayed addition studies with the pseudotyped viruses show that papuamide A inhibits viral infection only at the initial stage of the viral life cycle. Additionally, pretreatment studies revealed that the virus, and not the cell, is the target of papuamide A’s action. Together, these results suggest a direct virucidal mechanism of HIV-1 inhibition by papuamide A. We also demonstrate here that the other papuamides (B-D) are able to inhibit viral entry indicating that the free amino moiety of 2,3-diaminobutanoic acid residue is not required for the virucidal activity.
HIV; papuamide A; cyclic depsipeptide; entry inhibitor; marine metabolite
Triterpene derivatives were analyzed for anti-HIV-1 activity and for cellular toxicity. Betulinic aldehyde, betulinic nitrile, and morolic acid derivatives were identified to have anti-HIV-1 activity. These derivatives inhibit a late step in virus replication, likely virus maturation.
retrovirus; antiviral; antiretroviral; proteolysis; protease
In our continuing study of triterpene derivatives as potent anti-HIV agents, different C-3 conformationally restricted betulinic acid (BA, 1) derivatives were designed and synthesized in order to explore the conformational space of the C-3 pharmacophore. 3-O-Monomethylsuccinyl- betulinic acid (MSB) analogs were also designed to better understand the contribution of the C-3′ dimethyl group of bevirimat (2), the first-in-class HIV maturation inhibitor, which is currently in phase IIb clinical trials. In addition, another triterpene skeleton, moronic acid (MA, 3) was also employed to study the influence of the backbone and the C-3 modification towards the anti-HIV activity of this compound class. This study enabled us to better understand the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of triterpene-derived anti-HIV agents, and led to the design and synthesis of compound 12 (EC50: 0.0006 μM), which displayed slightly better activity than 2 as a HIV-1 maturation inhibitor.
Entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into cells is mediated by the virion surface envelope (Env) glycoproteins, making it a desirable target for antiretroviral entry inhibitors. We previously isolated a family of gp120 binding RNA aptamers and showed that they neutralized the infectivity of HIV-1. In this study, we assessed the activity of a shortened synthetic derivative of the B40 aptamer, called UCLA1, against a large panel of HIV-1 subtype C viruses. UCLA1 tightly bound to a consensus HIV-1 subtype C gp120 and neutralized isolates of the same subtype with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) in the nanomolar range. The aptamer had little toxicity in tests with cell lines and primary cells. Furthermore, it exhibited high therapeutic indices, suggesting that it may be effective at very low doses. Mapping of UCLA1 binding sites on gp120 revealed eight amino acid residues that modulated neutralization resistance. This included residues within the coreceptor binding site, at the base of the V3 loop, and in the bridging sheet within the conserved V1/V2 stem-loop of gp120. The aptamer was also shown to have synergistic effects with T20, a gp41 fusion inhibitor, and IgG1b12 (b12), an anti-CD4 binding site monoclonal antibody. These results suggest that UCLA1 may be suitable for development as a potent HIV-1 entry inhibitor.
Pradimicin A (PRM-A), an antifungal nonpeptidic benzonaphtacenequinone antibiotic, is a low-molecular-weight (molecular weight, 838) carbohydrate binding agent (CBA) endowed with a selective inhibitory activity against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It invariably inhibits representative virus strains of a variety of HIV-1 clades with X4 and R5 tropisms at nontoxic concentrations. Time-of-addition studies revealed that PRM-A acts as a true virus entry inhibitor. PRM-A specifically interacts with HIV-1 gp120 and efficiently prevents virus transmission in cocultures of HUT-78/HIV-1 and Sup T1 cells. Upon prolonged exposure of HIV-1-infected CEM cell cultures, PRM-A drug pressure selects for mutant HIV-1 strains containing N-glycosylation site deletions in gp120 but not gp41. A relatively long exposure time to PRM-A is required before drug-resistant virus strains emerge. PRM-A has a high genetic barrier, since more than five N-glycosylation site deletions in gp120 are required to afford moderate drug resistance. Such mutated virus strains keep full sensitivity to the other known clinically used anti-HIV drugs. PRM-A represents the first prototype compound of a nonpeptidic CBA lead and, together with peptide-based lectins, belongs to a conceptually novel type of potential therapeutics for which drug pressure results in the selection of glycan deletions in the HIV gp120 envelope.
PRO 2000 is a polyanionic microbicide that binds directly to the gp120 envelope protein to inhibit HIV-1 entry. We studied the breadth of PRO 2000 activity against HIV-1 derived from recently transmitted R5 viruses. We also investigated the interaction of this compound with X4 and R5 HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins using an epitope mapping strategy.
The anti-HIV activity of PRO 2000 against subtype B and C Env-pseudotyped viruses was assessed in saline and cervicovaginal lavage fluid. Competitive binding assays were performed with X4 and R5 monomeric and virus-associated gp120.
PRO 2000 was found to be active against recently transmitted subtype B and C viruses tested in vitro, however, at 1 µg/ml in saline, activity against subtype C was decreased compared to subtype B. Epitope mapping using anti-V3 region antibodies showed that PRO 2000 binds to the V3 region of monomeric and virus-associated X4 gp120 with a higher affinity than to V3 of R5 gp120. In contrast, the interaction of PRO 2000 with the CD4 binding site was similar for both X4 and R5 monomeric and virus-associated gp120.
PRO 2000 has significant activity against recently transmitted viruses, although some activity is lost at low concentrations. Epitope binding studies suggest that this broad activity is due to direct and indirect interactions with multiple gp120 sites rather than V3 binding alone.
microbicide; PRO 2000; recently transmitted viruses; HIV-1; cervicovaginal lavage
Some secondary metabolites from plants show to have potent inhibitory activities against microbial pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), Treponema pallidum, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, etc. Here we report that lignosulfonic acid (LSA), a polymeric lignin derivative, exhibits potent and broad activity against HIV-1 isolates of diverse subtypes including two North America strains and a number of Chinese clinical isolates values ranging from 21.4 to 633 nM. Distinct from other polyanions, LSA functions as an entry inhibitor with multiple targets on viral gp120 as well as on host receptor CD4 and co-receptors CCR5/CXCR4. LSA blocks viral entry as determined by time-of-drug addiction and cell-cell fusion assays. Moreover, LSA inhibits CD4-gp120 interaction by blocking the binding of antibodies specific for CD4-binding sites (CD4bs) and for the V3 loop of gp120. Similarly, LSA interacts with CCR5 and CXCR4 via its inhibition of specific anti-CCR5 and anti-CXCR4 antibodies, respectively. Interestingly, the combination of LSA with AZT and Nevirapine exhibits synergism in viral inhibition. For the purpose of microbicide development, LSA displays low in vitro cytotoxicity to human genital tract epithelial cells, does not stimulate NF-κB activation and has no significant up-regulation of IL-1α/β and IL-8 as compared with N-9. Lastly, LSA shows no adverse effect on the epithelial integrity and the junctional protein expression. Taken together, our findings suggest that LSA can be a potential candidate for tropical microbicide.
Tumor, is one of the major reason for human death, due to its widespread occurrence. Betulinic acid derivatives have attracted considerable attention as cancer chemopreventive agents and also as cancer therapeutics. Many of its derivatives inhibit the growth of human cancer cell lines by triggering apoptosis. With this background, we planned to synthesize a series of betulinic acid derivatives to assess their antiproliferation efficacy on human cancer cell lines.
A series of novel betulinic acid derivatives were designed and synthesized as highlighted by the preliminary antitumor evaluation against MGC-803, PC3, A375, Bcap-37 and A431 human cancer cell lines in vitro. The pharmacological results showed that some of the compounds displayed moderate to high levels of antitumor activities with most of new exhibiting higher inhibitory activities compared to BA. The IC50 values of compound 3c on the five cancer cell lines were 2.3, 4.6, 3.3, 3.6, and 4.3 μM, respectively. Subsequent fluorescence staining and flow cytometry analysis (FCM) indicated that compound 3c could induce apoptosis in MGC-803 and PC3 cell lines, and the apoptosis ratios reached the peak (37.38% and 33.74%) after 36 h of treatment at 10 μM.
This study suggests that most of betulinic acid derivatives could inhibit the growth of human cancer cell lines. Furthermore, compound 3c could induce apoptosis of cancer cells.
We previously identified a small-molecule anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (anti-HIV-1) compound, ADS-J1, using a computer-aided molecular docking technique for primary screening and a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as a secondary screening method. In the present study, we demonstrated that ADS-J1 is an HIV-1 entry inhibitor, as determined by a time-of-addition assay and an HIV-1-mediated cell fusion assay. Further mechanism studies confirmed that ADS-J1 does not block gp120-CD4 binding and exhibits a marginal interaction with the HIV-1 coreceptor CXCR4. However, ADS-J1 inhibited the fusion-active gp41 core formation mimicked by peptides derived from the viral gp41 N-terminal heptad repeat (NHR) and C-terminal heptad repeat (CHR), as determined by ELISA, native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and circular dichroism analysis. Moreover, using a surface plasmon resonance assay, we found that ADS-J1 could bind directly to IQN17, a trimeric peptide containing the gp41 pocket region, resulting in the conformational change of IQN17 and the blockage of its interaction with a short D peptide, PIE7. The positively charged residue (K574) located in the gp41 pocket region is critical for the binding of ADS-J1 to NHR. These results suggest that ADS-J1 may bind to the viral gp41 NHR region through its hydrophobic and ionic interactions with the hydrophobic and positively charged resides located in the pocket region, subsequently blocking the association between the gp41 NHR and CHR regions to form the fusion-active gp41 core, thereby inhibiting HIV-1-mediated membrane fusion and virus entry.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission through saliva is extremely low. Several oral components, including secretory immunoglobulin A and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, are known as potential inhibitory agents of HIV oral transmission. Here we examined anti-HIV activity of oral bacterial components. We showed that recombinant protein HGP44 derived from Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the primary infectious agents of periodontitis, was capable of inhibiting HIV type 1 (HIV-1) replication. HGP44 bound specifically to HIV-1 gp120 and blocked HIV-1 envelope-mediated membrane fusion. These findings suggest that HGP44 of P. gingivalis can inhibit HIV-1 infection by blocking HIV-1 entry.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry is mediated by the consecutive interaction of the envelope glycoprotein gp120 with CD4 and a coreceptor such as CCR5 or CXCR4. The CCR5 coreceptor is used by the most commonly transmitted HIV-1 strains that often persist throughout the course of infection. Compounds targeting CCR5-mediated entry are a novel class of drugs being developed to treat HIV-1 infection. In this study, we have identified the mechanism of action of two inhibitors of CCR5 function, SCH-350581 (AD101) and SCH-351125 (SCH-C). AD101 is more potent than SCH-C at inhibiting HIV-1 replication in primary lymphocytes, as well as viral entry and gp120 binding to cell lines. Both molecules also block the binding of several anti-CCR5 monoclonal antibodies that recognize epitopes in the second extracellular loop of CCR5. Alanine mutagenesis of the transmembrane domain of CCR5 suggests that AD101 and SCH-C bind to overlapping but nonidentical sites within a putative ligand-binding cavity formed by transmembrane helices 1, 2, 3, and 7. We propose that the binding of small molecules to the transmembrane domain of CCR5 may disrupt the conformation of its extracellular domain, thereby inhibiting ligand binding to CCR5.
Maraviroc (UK-427,857) is a selective CCR5 antagonist with potent anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) activity and favorable pharmacological properties. Maraviroc is the product of a medicinal chemistry effort initiated following identification of an imidazopyridine CCR5 ligand from a high-throughput screen of the Pfizer compound file. Maraviroc demonstrated potent antiviral activity against all CCR5-tropic HIV-1 viruses tested, including 43 primary isolates from various clades and diverse geographic origin (geometric mean 90% inhibitory concentration of 2.0 nM). Maraviroc was active against 200 clinically derived HIV-1 envelope-recombinant pseudoviruses, 100 of which were derived from viruses resistant to existing drug classes. There was little difference in the sensitivity of the 200 viruses to maraviroc, as illustrated by the biological cutoff in this assay (= geometric mean plus two standard deviations [SD] of 1.7-fold). The mechanism of action of maraviroc was established using cell-based assays, where it blocked binding of viral envelope, gp120, to CCR5 to prevent the membrane fusion events necessary for viral entry. Maraviroc did not affect CCR5 cell surface levels or associated intracellular signaling, confirming it as a functional antagonist of CCR5. Maraviroc has no detectable in vitro cytotoxicity and is highly selective for CCR5, as confirmed against a wide range of receptors and enzymes, including the hERG ion channel (50% inhibitory concentration, >10 μM), indicating potential for an excellent clinical safety profile. Studies in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models predicted maraviroc to have human pharmacokinetics consistent with once- or twice-daily dosing following oral administration. Clinical trials are ongoing to further investigate the potential of using maraviroc for the treatment of HIV-1 infection and AIDS.
Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are potentially important tools in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine design. A few rare MAbs have been intensively studied, but we still have a limited appreciation of their neutralization breadth. Using a pseudovirus assay, we evaluated MAbs from clade B-infected donors and a clade B HIV+ plasma against 93 viruses from diverse backgrounds. Anti-gp120 MAbs exhibited greater activity against clade B than non-B viruses, whereas anti-gp41 MAbs exhibited broad interclade activity. Unexpectedly, MAb 4E10 (directed against the C terminus of the gp41 ectodomain) neutralized all 90 viruses with moderate potency. MAb 2F5 (directed against an epitope adjacent to that of 4E10) neutralized 67% of isolates, but none from clade C. Anti-gp120 MAb b12 (directed against an epitope overlapping the CD4 binding site) neutralized 50% of viruses, including some from almost every clade. 2G12 (directed against a high-mannose epitope on gp120) neutralized 41% of the viruses, but none from clades C or E. MAbs to the gp120 V3 loop, including 447-52D, neutralized a subset of clade B viruses (up to 45%) but infrequently neutralized other clades (≤7%). MAbs b6 (directed against the CD4 binding site) and X5 (directed against a CD4-induced epitope of gp120) neutralized only sensitive primary clade B viruses. The HIV+ plasma neutralized 70% of the viruses, including some from all major clades. Further analysis revealed five neutralizing immunotypes that were somewhat associated with clades. As well as the significance for vaccine design, our data have implications for passive-immunization studies in countries where clade C viruses are common, given that only MAbs b12 and 4E10 were effective against viruses from this clade.
Inspired by the anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity of analogues of β-galactosylceramide (GalCer), a set of mono- and di- saccharide fatty acid esters were designed as GalCer mimetics and their binding to the V3 loop peptide of HIV-1 and anti-HIV activity evaluated. 1,1-linked Gal-Man and Glu-Man disaccharides with an ester on the Man subunit bound the V3 loop peptide and inhibited HIV infectivity in single round infection assays with the TZM-bl cell line. IC50's were in the 50 μM range with no toxicity to the cells at concentrations up to 200 μM. These compounds appear to inhibit virus entry at early steps in viral infection since they were inactive if added post viral entry. Although these compounds were found to bind to the V3 loop peptide of gp120, it is not clear that this interaction is responsible for their anti-HIV activity because the relative binding affinity of closely related analogues did not correlate with their antiviral behavior. The low cytotoxicity of these 1,1-linked disaccharide fatty acid esters, combined with the easy accessibility to structurally diverse analogues make these molecules attractive leads for new topical anti-viral agents.
Galactosylceramide; glycolipid; trehalose; fatty acid; antiviral; HIV
The compound 3-O-(3′,3′-dimethylsuccinyl)-betulinic acid (DSB) potently and specifically inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication by delaying the cleavage of the CA-SP1 junction in Gag, leading to impaired maturation of the viral core. In this study, we investigated HIV-1 resistance to DSB by analyzing HIV-1 mutants encoding a variety of individual amino acid substitutions in the CA-SP1 cleavage site. Three of the substitutions were lethal to HIV-1 replication owing to a deleterious effect on particle assembly. The remaining mutants exhibited a range of replication efficiencies; however, each mutant was capable of replicating in the presence of concentrations of DSB that effectively inhibited wild-type HIV-1. Mutations conferring resistance to DSB also led to impaired binding of the compound to immature HIV-1 virions and loss of DSB-mediated inhibition of cleavage of Gag. Surprisingly, two of the DSB-resistant mutants retained an intermediate ability to bind the compound, suggesting that binding of DSB to immature HIV-1 particles may not be sufficient for antiviral activity. Overall, our results indicate that Gag amino acids L363 and A364 are critical for inhibition of HIV-1 replication by DSB and suggest that these residues form key contacts with the drug in the context of the assembling HIV-1 particle. These results have implications for the design of and screening for novel inhibitors of HIV-1 maturation.
The major group of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains that comprise the current global pandemic have diversified during their worldwide spread into at least 10 distinct subtypes, or clades. Subtype C predominates in sub-Saharan Africa and is responsible for the majority of worldwide HIV-1 infections, subtype B predominates in North America and Europe, and subtype E is prevalent in Southeast Asia. Significant amino acid variations have been observed among the clade-specific Tat proteins. For the present study, we examined clade-specific interactions between Tat, transactivation-responsive (TAR) element, and P-TEFb proteins and how these interactions may modulate the efficiency of HIV-1 transcription. Clade-specific Tat proteins significantly modified viral gene expression. Tat proteins derived from HIV-1 clades C and E were strong transactivators of long terminal repeat (LTR) activity; Tat E also had a longer half-life than the other Tat proteins and interacted more efficiently with the stem-loop TAR element. Chimeric Tat proteins harboring the Tat E activation domain were strong transactivators of LTR expression. While Tat B, C, and E were able to rescue a Tat-defective HIV-1 proviral clone, Tat E was significantly more efficient at rescue than Tat C, possibly due to the relative stability of the Tat protein. Swapping the activation domains of Tat B, C, and E identified the cyclin T1 association domain as a critical determinant of the transactivation efficiency and of Tat-defective HIV-1 provirus rescue.